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Dog eats 100 rocks-and more weird veterinary pet insurance claims


VPI honors Harley the pooch with the Hambone Award for this year's most unusual pet medical claim.

You've probably come across veterinary patients who swallowed a rock or two—but 100? Harley, the rock-eating pug who consumed—and passed—more than 100 rocks, took home top honors in a contest for the year’s most unusual pet medical claims sponsored by VPI. According to foxnews.com, Harley won the Hambone Award—an award named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator.

Out of all the 2011 entries, VPI narrowed the field down to 12 finalists and then let the public vote. Needless to say, Harley had some worthy competitors. Here were some of the finalists:

  • Gus the Labrador retriever gobbled down five pounds of cookies in one sitting.
  • Eddy the domestic shorthair cat leapt into the air and landed on top of a hot wood stove.
  • Stella Artiois the Labrador retriever who got a green bean can stuck on her jaw after rummaging through the trash can for leftovers.
  • Chico the Chihuahua almost became supper for a hungry owl.

In the end, Harley snagged 1,800 of the 4,000 votes. The Manville, R.I., pug apparently began his strange rock-eating addiction while his owner, Lori Laverdiere, was on vacation. When she returned from the trip, she took Harely for a walk and noticed that he was passing rocks at an alarming rate—she could feel the rocks in his stomach. Laverdiere rushed Harley to an emergency animal hospital where veterinarians diagnosed the problem and gave Harley medication to expedite the removal of the rocks. Luckily, Harley made a complete recovery (as have all the other contestants).

Though Harley's story is strange, he might have trouble upstaging the two past winners: Ellie, a Labrador retriever, ate an entire beehive (with inhabitants), and Lulu, a bulldog, gobbled down 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap, and a piece of a basketball. Share your weird patient stories at dvm360.com/comment.

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